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Boils and ghouls, gather in, because I will be intermittently narrating this roadtrip when I am not driving, napping or reading (expect very little from me, kiddies).
Matty and I planned to leave at 5 a.m. (absolutely medieval). Here we are, an hour later, departing this earth on this journey an hour late. Ah, well. A Hilton’s life for me.
Watch for updates, my festering follower(s)! (Namely, Catty Patty.)

Update, 6:12 a.m.
Yes, we have already listened to (and sang our hearts out to) “Total Eclipse of the Heart (Fart).”
That was, like, first thing.

Update, 9:37 a.m.
I had a very, very brief nap. Thirty minutes or so. It sucked.
I can’t find a Chick-fil-a so I can get a friggin chicken biscuit and we’re in Dexter, Mo. So yeah, I’m feeling stabby.

Update, 12:45 p.m.
Driving. Hate Kentucky. Ordered an egg and cheese biscuit at Hardee’s this morning. Got an egg and no cheese biscuit.
Non-stop rain.
Stopped at Flying J in Fort Campbell. Dreadful.
Have noticed husband will do anything to not study.
Saw a soggy, nasty cardboard box blowing along the road, getting repeatedly run over. Reminded me of Patty.
It’s going to rain for the full 14 hours, isn’t it?

Update, 4:27 p.m.
I just finished my second painfully short nap of the day. I woke up in time to endure…wait for it…Chattanooga.
On the bright side, the rain stopped, and I can see all the lovely colors in the trees – orange for jack-o-lanterns, yellow for bile, green for a sinus infection and burnt red for that time I ran over a chupacabra.

Update, 9:19 p.m.
This will be my last transmission, as I will either fail to survive this trip or destroy Google Maps out of sheer desperation.
Coming up on Dexter, Ga. The world wants us to feel all stabby.
Dear reader (Patty), I hope you’re not too terribly pleased that I’m going to be late for my haunted tour tonight. I will remedy my misery by consuming a lot of discount Halloween candy tomorrow.
Until Sunday,
I remain(s),
Long-trip Leona


While driving and listening to “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker (thanks, Jess), I suddenly had a vision of what the world might have looked like in prehistoric times, when giant snails roamed the earth.*
I pictured them as wide as two lanes of highway. Matt asked me (because of course I described this to him) if people could ride them, like in “The Neverending Story.” I said yes, but they would not be goofy looking like the one in “The Neverending Story.” They would be serious, real snails.
This led to a discussion about where snail shells come from.
“Are snails born with shells?” I asked him. “Or is it like a hermit crab kind of thing and they have to find one?”
“I think they’re born with them,” he said.
“But when do they start developing their shells? Maybe, if I were a snail, there would just be a bunch of empty shells floating around in my ute (yep, I call it that), waiting for fetal snails to find them.”
Matt pointed to his fingernails, which is a difficult thing to do if you point with both hands (he doesn’t, but still).
“You’re born with fingernails,” he said.
“It’s your typical chicken-and-the-egg question,” I said, ignoring his logic.
I wondered whether hermit crabs were born with soft shells and had to find bigger ones as they grew.
“If they’re not born with them,” Matt said, referring to the snails again, “do they inhabit the shells of dead snails? ”
“Probably so,” I said. “Maybe for snails, shells are like Social Security numbers, and they reassign them after they die.”

*“The Age of Miracles” has nothing to do with giant, prehistoric snails.

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I find it more useful and entertaining to make New Year’s Predictions.
(Note: The items I predict will not necessarily happen in 2013. Or ever.)
1. Something resembling control or restrictions happens to assault weapons or doesn’t happen but is talked about at length while the Mormons quietly assemble underground bunkers, stockpiling assault rifles and nuclear warheads.
2. The mysterious cut on my right thumb eventually heals, with or without Hello Kitty Band-Aids.
3. Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson get back together. Come on people, believe. Believe in love.
4. The internet becomes obsolete because we are finally able to communicate with each other through cats’ minds — telecatically.
5. A photo of the President spitting out borscht wins a Pulitzer.
6. Israel and Palestine collaborate on a book of haiku.
7. I travel to Mordor.
8. Hybrid cars turn on their owners, forcing them to buy larger TVs and more disposable plastic bottles.
9. Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson rise from the dead to sing a duet before falling on and devouring a crowd of Asian tourists.
10. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s child is the first to use a teleprompter to learn to read.

A recent spate of encountering others with physical curiosities has me puzzled.
Some of my friends have mentioned that a woman we know has strong body odor. I haven’t detected this myself, but I trust their olfactory abilities.
However, I have observed, on many occasions, a woman who has several very long hairs on her chin. She is not old — not yet. She is not hideous and does not perform witchcraft, that I know of.
And just today, while I was in line at the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice that the teller had very horribly and obviously painted-on eyebrows. She did not appear to be suffering hair loss from cancer or alopecia.
These encounters have caused me to wonder — don’t these people have any friends?
A friend’s most solemn duty is to tell us when we are overlooking some fixable physical aberration or applying our makeup too thickly. If these women have friends, or even husbands or boyfriends who are helpful at all, why don’t they seem to know that they are growing a beard or marinating mildew in their pits?
It reminds me of my attempts to teach my friends the “How’s your mother?” trick. It is meant to be an non-conspicuous way of asking if there is food in your teeth. For instance, after a meal, I would smile broadly and say “How’s your mother?”
If there was nothing in my teeth, the response would be “Just fine” or something similar.
My friends, however, almost never failed to do it backwards. They would give me a wide smile and ask, “How’s my mother?”
How would I know?
Friends. We need them to make us laugh and eventually set us straight.

Probably about a month ago, I brought a banana to work for a snack.

When I peeled the banana, it was clearly past its prime. So I threw it away in my trash can. Unpeeled.

Our cleaning crew quit or was fired — who knows — and we’ve been responsible for throwing out our own trash and doing the cleaning ourselves.

I was gone for a week when my husband had surgery, and the banana remained in the trash can…

Now gnats plague all of the employees, and they all wonder where they came from. It was me. I’m sorry, but it was me.

It’s Wolfie! Let him in!

I’m so horribly obsessed with Jan Terri. I’ve totally nailed her dance moves from “Get Down Goblin.” Matt told me he had never been more attracted to me.

Thank you, YouTube. You have just made my life.

Text conversation

Me: I know where we can get a Hummer

Matt: And where might that be?

Me: I can tell you the exact address in a few minutes.

Matt: I just remembered that they have real Hummers at the armory, here in Springfield. They may be a little hard to access though.

Me: [Address of Hummer]

Me: Homeland Security is totally reading this.

Matt: Sure, sure. But not if we wrap our phones in aluminum foil.

Me: Oooh good idea.


I’ve been playing Grand Theft Auto 3 quite a bit on my iPad, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we need access to a big, sturdy vehicle for when the zombie apocalypse occurs.

You’re probably wondering how I came to such a conclusion about the zombie apocalypse while playing a car-stealing game. I could explain it to you, but you should know that all things lead back to zombies, in the end.

I told Matt that we needed to do our research ahead of time and find a Hummer before the dead rise again, but that we will have to wait to take it until after hell has literally broken loose.

Side note

In the grocery store, I had the epiphany — NUTS! They’re easy to carry, will keep for a long time and have a lot of protein. They are the perfect apocalypse food. So we’ll be looting lots of nuts when the military and government have ceased to exist and we can go shopping for free.

(Well, we’ll have paid with the blood of our comrades, I told Matt, because of course I was saying all of this out loud as we shopped.)

Which reminds me

Of the ending to last night’s “The Walking Dead.” Oh, how I cried. I hate you, “The Walking Dead,” and yet I love you, too.

He is called an amigurumi. I am about half-way through with a fish for baby Quinn. I started it before he was born, I think. He is now more than nine months old. I hope to have it finished in time for him to give it to one of his grandchildren.
Do you like this idea, Quinn?

“Oh yes,” Quinn says. “I believe I do.”
He is already very intellectual because he is the spawn of a JD and a future PhD.

Is this craft creepy or cute? Tell me in the comments. I’m trying to care about your opinion.

Have foreigners put their hands on your head.

I think my mom might have been their neighbor. MAKE YOUR OWN CARAMEL CORN AND THANK YOUR GOD FOR THIS RECIPE. Visit

Innovation, my friends. IN – OH – VAY – SHUN.
THAT’S what opening our borders will foster more of. Or kill, depending on how you look at it.
(I don’t care about politics anymore so I’m fine with whatever, including a dictatorship, because I hope we get uniforms.)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!